using ammonia to start cycle
Well I found the mathematics to be a bit challenging and wanted to run this by the boards as to how I figured out how much ammonia to use in my aquarium.
29 gallon aquarium with 23 gallons of water in it and the rest is rocks and sand.
Tank set up for two months with no fish and rocks were added 7 days ago.
So I want to put in enough ammonia to raise the ammonia level to 4parts per million(ppm)
Well I could use my dropper bottle and drop a drop and do a test, and continue indefinitely. But I figured I could calculate where 4ppm would equal my 23 gallons of water without knowing the concentration of ammonia I have purchased.
So I started with a .75 gallon juice bottle and filled it with water. first test 0ppm ammonia so I'm starting from scratch.
so I did 2 drops of ammonia and barely got a reading.
so I did three more drops of ammonia and got a reading of 1ppm.
so I added 5 more drops and got a reading of 2ppm, to err on the side of caution I'm going to stick it here rather than adding 20 more drops.
So in my case I need 10/.75=13.3333 drops per gallon
multiply this by 23 gallons to get 307 drops for my tank.
Using the conversion 1 drop = 1/60th of a teaspoon or .02 teaspons in a drop
So 0.02teaspons/drop*307drops/tank = 5.11 teaspons
So 5.11 teaspoons for 23 gallons of water.
So I put in 4 teaspoons in my tank
Question, will the carbon in my filter strip the ammonia from the water.
I've also recently added Cichlid Buffer and Cichlid Salts to the water today.
I was going to take ammonia and hardness and pH tomorrow morning.
Tonight the pH is at 8ppm 30 minutes after adding the ammonia, but I figure it hasn't had too much time to circulate. so the higher rating than desired is appropriate for right now.
Any suggestions, comments or Oh No's!
You made this too complicated LOL, but good thought process. I would have added a 1/4 of teaspoon and then measured and gone from there. Carbon is typically only useful for removing meds or other chemicals. If you are doing a fishless cycle, you want to focus on that and nothing that could derail the process and to keep yourself sane during the process.
I'm not sure that I would add the other ingredients until the tank had cycled, but I'm sure others will chime in with their feedback. My view is get the tank cycled then adjust per fish requirements.
Is it your intent to add Africans to the tank once cycled? If so, which ones?
yes African's it is,
Synodontus petricola - 6
Metriclima sp. Mbweca - Trio
On a 55 gallon tank, I just pour in about 1/16th of a cupful, wait for 10 minutes and test. If it needs more, I add more. A bit too much will not hurt, either. This is not a science and needs to be exact. Read the red stickie here on cycling.
I like your calculations! Good job! Sounds like you've done everything right... Did you measure the concentration of ammonia in the tank, though? What is it? This concentration is, after all, what you are interested in, right?
Just to answer your question, the activated charcoal WILL adsorb some ammonia (and even more ammonium), particularly if it is brand new. I wouldn't be using it, at least during the cycling. As fins said, it is useful only in limited occasions including after a medicine treatment, and little else. I would leave it out and then after the cycling, put it back for a couple of months (to eliminate some nutrients that can cause algae) and then take it out again...
Good luck with your new tank!
Last edited by Alfcea; 10-12-2008 at 03:09 PM.
By Alfredo Franco-Cea
30 gallon tank
-- low light -- tannin stained water
FAUNA: 7 zebra danios; 5 neon tetras; one male green swordtail; 2 female adult platies (plus fry); 6 bleeding heart tetras; 6 false rummy nose tetras
FLORA: Anubias, Java Moss, Ceratophyllum, Java Fern, Windelψv's Fern
thanks, I'll pull out the cartridge, but today's measurements from the tank are
Nitrite = 0.25ppm
Ammonia = 4.0ppm
Nitrate = 5.0ppm
So overnight the buffer held the pH steady, I got a slight measurement of Nitrite which is a good thing and Nitrate is reading the same, and Ammonia is reading the same yesterdays measurements could have been more as the next color code on the color card is 8ppm, but it wasn't as extreme as 8ppm.
I did take the tank into account before the calculations and there was no ammonia registering on the test.
This is all good to know, even as a semi experienced aquarist, I would have set the tank up, let it run empty for a month and then add 3-6 fish and not thought about it twice. I had no idea I had to 'jump start' the process. So whoever came up with this board and ideas thanks so much.
yesterday was a doozy no measurements taken...
Today, Nitrite 5ppm
Nitrate 20 ppm
Hey if I had access to a dead fish would it help to put em in the tank for a little while?
Adding two teaspoons of ammonia to make up the difference of the lost 2ppm.
Last edited by STATMATT; 10-14-2008 at 08:33 PM.